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Exploiting chromatic aberration to spectrally encode depth in reflectance confocal microscopy

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We present chromatic confocal microscopy as a technique to axially scan the sample by spectrally encoding depth information to avoid mechanical scanning of the lens or sample. We have achieved an 800 μm focal shift over a range of 680-1080 nm using a hyperchromat lens as the imaging lens. A more complex system that incorporates a water immersion objective to improve axial resolution was built and tested. We determined that increasing objective magnification decreases chromatic shift while improving axial resolution. Furthermore, collimating after the hyperchromat at longer wavelengths yields an increase in focal shift.

© 2011 OSA/SPIE

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